Occupy Wall Street filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against New York City, claiming authorities destroyed $47,000 worth of books, computers and other equipment confiscated from the protesters’ encampment in lower Manhattan last fall.
Police conducted a surprise overnight raid at Zuccotti Park in November, clearing scores of protesters who had set up tents at the plaza near Wall Street and dealing a significant blow to the movement’s potency.
As part of the sweep, Occupy claims, police officers seized more than 3,000 books from the “People’s Library.” While some of the books were eventually returned, many were in unusable condition, while the rest were apparently destroyed, according to Occupy’s lawyer, Norman Siegel.
The lawsuit also questions whether the raid itself was constitutional, Siegel said.
Workers of the World Unite Against War. A May Day protest photo submission from Bryant Park in Manhattan. Taken by a friend of mine who wishes to remain anonymous.
And all you May Day protesters and spectators… please don’t forget to send any of your photos of today’s events my way.
You can view the rest of The Political Notebook’s project to gather photography, documentation and experiences from the OWS movements nationwide. I have also compiled an archive of all my posted submissions to this project on a single Pinterest board for your viewing convenience. Check out the Call for Submissions page and email your photos to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Occupy Wall Street. These were photos taken at Foley Square and Zuccotti Park early on in the movement’s existence, on October 5th. The photos were taken and submitted by Philippe deNeree.
You can follow Philippe here on Tumblr!
I brought my parents, who were in town for my father’s birthday, down to see it on Oct. 6. This is exactly what we saw as well.
Demand Fourteen: More jobs that involve crafts.
-Raise the minimum wage to $20/hr, eliminate all debt on the planet, guaranteed living wage regardless of employment…
Most of these demands are stupid and contradict themselves (end of free trade yet open immigration policies), or just plain don’t fit the general cause. I’m all for gender and racial equality, but that has very little to do with economic reform.
How about just demanding a tax increase on the top earners in the country as well as increased public works projects? You put more tax money into the system from people who can afford to do so, while creating jobs for the unemployed that also benefit our infrastructure. You can’t just expect someone to say, “Okay, all the debt is gone.” That’s not how that works.
Demand Fourteen: More jobs that involve crafts.
I want to sympathize with them, but these are the demands of a petulant 13-year-old with no knowledge whatsoever about the public-policy process.
Unless they want to actually smash the state and start over, OWS jumped out the Overton Window and just ran naked past the general population.
Over the past week, I’ve spent about three solid days covering the protest for both the Hostra Chronicle as well as some fun coverage for Student Loans For Beer Money, and I have to say that I was left largely unimpressed. Being someone who was pretty big into protesting in my high school days, I’ve been to both well-executed and downright stupid protests. Occupy Wall Street falls somewhere close to the latter, which I honestly expected. It’s a shame too, because for every well-versed, intelligent person making a salient point (Like Bryan’s friend Amanda and her friends), there were about two hundred other idiots demanding to know what happened to Building 7 and spouting off anti-Federal Reserve rhetoric. For every sign urging us to tax billionaires at higher rates, there were signs proclaiming the illegality of the war in Iraq, or demanding the end of aide to Israel. Overall, the whole thing appeared to be more of an airing of grievances for younger, die hard lefties and recent college grads who didn’t realize their diploma didn’t give them carte blanche access to all of the jobs ever.
I also spent a lot of times signing media lists. It seemed that every other dude with a DSLR or other camera rig had some kind of small notebook they wanted me to put my information in. That’s all well and fine, but do you know how many petitions to congressmen and representatives I signed? Zero. I looked too, because let’s face it, writing to your local representatives does a hell of a lot more than making an origami paper crane for “peace” (I’m not making that up either, there was totally a booth for that. Take that, Wall Street fat cats!). Honestly, I don’t even know if signing one would do any good considering I was barely able to make out any discernible goals that these people had. It seemed that most people were content on spending the days weaving through a tiny park crowded with tarps and drum circles and guys playing “Imagine” on their acoustic guitars and occasionally marching.
It’s sad, because even as a largely left-leaning, open-minded guy, I can’t but look at all the the white guy/girl dreads, hemp necklaces, and Che Guevara shirts without shaking my head and thinking of how they all look like idiots. If someone who agrees with your core stance and is your age can barely get on your side, how do you expect to win over the others? How can you expect to make any change at all when your approach simply screams, “I can’t live off of student loans anymore and I’m mad as hell!”? I’ve been so disillusioned with the idea of protests since my senior year of high school, and this only justifies all of my qualms. Sure, I personally don’t like hippies, but you know who also doesn’t? Most people, especially the ones you are fighting. So while your protest looks like “the start of a revolution, man” to you and your friends, it looks like a bunch of whiny kids to just about everyone else. And that sucks, because when it comes down to it, yes, we should be taxing the living shit out of billionaires. We should probably also reverse that whole Citizens United thing. Those are two goals that make sense and are to the point, but fuck it if anyone who isn’t there can really gather that that is what you want.
My point is that sleeping in a park, eating free vegan food, and banging on a trash can isn’t going to get you anywhere. It’s only going to nail home to everyone who is on the fence/disagrees with you that you are a bunch of misguided youth. While crossing the Brooklyn Bridge a woman pushed into me, frantically trying to get into Brooklyn for work, which the protest was making her late for. After she disappeared into the crowd, I heard a couple of hippies behind me mocking her, saying “Oh I have to get to work! Oh no!” in very condescending tones. That’s a bunch of bullshit. That woman, going to work at 4:00PM on a Saturday, is the exact fucking person you claim to be fighting for, and yet you choose to mock the fact that she has a job. Maybe that’s why you have so much fucking debt. It only proves how many people are there for the “cred” rather than trying to achieve an actual goal.
I can’t stress the fact that a unified, concise goal needs to be reached and expressed, otherwise Zucotti Park (and wherever else this movement travels) is just going to look like a gumbo pot of liberal rhetoric and internet conspiracy theorist garbage. Scrap the hunger strikes, drum circles, and hacky sack games and write a fucking letter. Write a ton of fucking letters. Tie up your congressmen’s phone lines. And for fuck’s sake, take off the Guy Fawkes mask. You look like a tool.
My response to you, Marc, comes from Ned Resnikoff. You’ll understand why when you read it.